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Need Reliable Water Heater Repair or Installation Services in Middle Tennessee? Turn to Us

A home can’t function comfortably without a well-working water heater in place. Hot water guarantees cleaner dishes, fewer stains in your clothes, and comfortable showers and baths. Even just a few days without a working water heater can send your entire household into chaos.

If your water heater doesn’t seem to be working right, turn to us. We offer water heater repair, water heater maintenance, and water heater installation services throughout the Sumner County area. If you live in or near White House, Springfield, East Nashville, Goodlettsville, or somewhere else in our service area, please reach out.

How Does My Water Heater Work?

Cold water enters near the top of your tank, then moves to the bottom where it starts to warm up with the help of a heating element or burner. Once it heats to the temperature set on your thermostat, it will rise to the top of the tank, where it is then stored until you turn on the hot water somewhere in your home.

As that hot water sits, waiting to be used, more cold water enters near the bottom, where it is heated up. And as the hot water at the top exits, this new hot water will rise to the top to take its place – and on and on the cycle continues. 

Own a tankless water heater? Then, things work a bit differently.

How Does My Tankless Water Heater Work?

Tankless water heaters (or demand-type water heaters) don’t store hot water. Rather, they heat it up only as it is needed.

There is no tank involved – hence the name. Instead, the heating elements heat the water as you need it, which means less energy is used and the hot water never runs out. There’s also a lower likelihood of experiencing leaks, and these systems are known for lasting much longer than their tank-requiring counterparts.

What do you have to gain from this system? Here are some of the advantages.

  • They have longer lifespans than tank water heaters.
  • Your hot water will never run out – ideal for those with busier households.
  • Less energy is wasted keeping multiple gallons of water heated (which means lower energy bills over time).
  • You’ll save on space since these systems are significantly smaller.
  • They’re an environmentally-friendly option.

What Are the Parts of My Water Heater?

Your water heater requires cohesive functioning from multiple parts to work efficiently and effectively. Assuming you have a traditional setup (as opposed to a tankless water heater), here’s what you can expect in terms of parts.

  • Storage Tank: In tank water heaters, you’ll have a big metal tank that both heats the water and then holds the hot water until it’s ready for use. These can come in a variety of sizes, but the average household will have a tank that holds about 40 – 60 gallons.
  • Dip Tube: The dip tube is where the water enters the tank. It’s located at the top of the tank and, after the water enters, it is then transferred to the bottom where it is heated.
  • Heating Element or Gas Burner: If you have a gas water heater, you’ll have a gas burner to heat your water, and if you have an electric system, your water will be heated by a heating element. Either way, these are located at the bottom of the tank.
  • Anode Rods: Anode rods prevent your tank from rusting. Essentially, it’s made from a more desirable metal that attracts all of the elements that would cause your tank to corrode – meaning it will rust and break down instead of the tank.
  • Thermostat: The thermostat is what measures the temperature of your tank, and it can be adjusted based on your preferences. For instance, if you have small children, you may want your tank set to a lower temperature to avoid potential burns or scalding.
  • Heat-Out Pipe: Just as the dip tube brings your cold water in, the heat-out pipe is what sends the heated water out of the tank and into your household. Since hot water rises, this is located at the top of your tank.

You’ll also have various valves that help with the operation of the system. These include:

  • Shut-Off Valve: This will stop water from entering the water heater, should this be something that’s needed – for instance, when you’re draining the tank.
  • Drain Valve: This is located near the bottom of the tank and used when the tank needs to be emptied. This is often done when cleaning out buildup or sediment, when moving the tank, or for completing repairs or replacing parts.
  • Pressure Relief Valve: This is implemented to ensure your water heater’s pressure levels remain in a safe range. It will release if the pressure in the tank gets too high, reducing the risk of damage or explosions.

And if you do have a tankless water heater? Honestly, minus the storage tank, you’ll notice a lot of the parts are quite similar. We have more details on our tankless water heater page or you can reach out to our team for all the specifics.

How Can I Improve the Efficiency of My Water Heater?

As with any appliance, any way you can improve on efficiency is welcome. But is this possible with a water heater? You bet. Following these tips to save money and get the most from your system.

  • Turn down your water heater’s thermostat. Check if the temperature setting is too high and could be decreased. All too often, the default temp is much higher than it needs to be and can be lowered quite a bit without actually affecting the temperature of the water you need in your home.
  • Consider an upgrade. If you’re due for a new water heater anyway, consider upgrading to a model that’s known for energy efficiency. Or take a look at tankless options, which are known for helping keep your energy bills in check.
  • Replace showerheads and faucet attachments. Not interested in shelling out the big dough for a new water heater? A new energy-efficient showerhead or sink attachment is a much smaller purchase that still helps reduce hot water waste.
  • Flush the tank. Sediment buildup in your tank can reduce efficiency significantly. Have your tank flushed, as needed, to keep buildup to a minimum and empower you to get the most from your appliance.
  • Insulate your pipes and water heater. Both your water pipes and your water heater could be insulated to ensure heat isn’t getting lost on its way to your faucet, shower, or other appliances. This is an investment that can pay off for years to come.
  • Schedule professional maintenance. Tune-ups are a must for every water heater, and these checkups can help in catching smaller issues before they turn into big (and expensive) repairs – while simultaneously giving your system everything it needs to keep running well.
  • Don’t put off repairs. The longer any needed repairs go unaddressed, the more wear your water heater will face. You’ll lose out on efficiency, and you’ll likely decrease the lifespan of the unit significantly.
  • Lower your hot water usage. This is the most obvious answer, but it’s still worth mentioning. See what you can do to cut down on hot water usage (i.e. less baths, shorter showers, colder clothes washing cycles, etc.) to help reduce higher-than-normal bills.

Still not getting what you need? Give us a call. We’d be happy to come on out and take a look. If no resolution can be found, it could be that your system is simply too old and needs to be replaced – or maybe a simple repair will do the trick. Regardless, we won’t know until we look!

Electric or Gas Water Heaters – Which Is Better?

If you’re investing in a new water heater, you’ll have to decide whether a gas and electric model would be a better fit. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get the ball rolling…

Are you looking for cheap installation or savings over time?

Electric water heaters are typically cheaper to install upfront, so if you’re short on funds, but need something right away, this may be the better option. That said, gas water heaters are known for being more cost-effective in the long run due to providing lower monthly energy bills.

In the end, costs tend to even out between the two – it’s more about what works best for both your short- and long-term goals.

Is quick turnaround important?

If you have a big household, then the faster your tank can heat up, the better. Gas units tend to be more efficient and speedy when it comes to heating up new water, so this would be a good fit for those with lots of people running through the shower in the mornings.

If an electric model is your preferred route, though, just keep in mind they may need more recovery time. But if you have a smaller household or don’t think it will be an issue, there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

Do you have access to a gas line?

If you’d have to get a gas line installed in order to get a gas system going, then this is definitely something to factor into your decision-making process. In these cases, the simpler and most cost-effective option is likely going to be going with an electric option.

In the end, the best water heater for you will depend on your unique needs, preferences, and budget. Consider the pros and cons of each, then consult with a pro to decide which would be the best option for your current setup. For those in or near Sumner County, we’d be happy to help!

Can Water Heaters Explode?

Now, we’ve gone over the differences between gas and electric water heaters, but there is one consideration we failed to mention – safety. The big concern with gas systems is the increased risk of carbon monoxide leaks. But there’s another concern that affects both gas and electric options – the potential for the unit to explode.

Keep in mind, these occurrences are very rare, so it’s not something to be actively concerned about. That said, they do happen, and knowing the warning signs and whether or not your system may be at risk is important in keeping your household safer. Here are a couple of things to be mindful of…

Gas Leaks

If your tank is leaking gas, the risk of explosion increases significantly. Gas units come with a pilot burner, so combining that with flammable fumes is a recipe for disasters.

If you suspect that gas is leaking at all (a big indicator is a rotten egg smell), leave your home and call in the proper authorities immediately. They’ll know how to best approach the situation while you’re safely out of your home where the risk of explosion (or even just breathing in the toxic air) won’t physically harm you.

Also, remember that, should carbon monoxide be the culprit, this gas will be both colorless and odorless. This is why this particular gas is such a huge threat. Be mindful of any changes in health – lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, headaches, etc. – that could indicate you have gas leaking into your home.

High Pressure Levels

This is where that pressure relief valve comes into play. Keep a careful eye on your tank’s pressure levels and, if things seem to be getting too high, call in an expert to look things over. Common signs of high pressure levels include:

  • Popping noises due to small explosions of sediment buildup
  • Shaking, in which case the unit should be disconnected immediately
  • Your pressure relief valve being always open
  • Brown hot water, which indicates dangerous buildup

In the end, staying alert and aware is always important. And, please, if you have any concerns, call us in right away. We offer 24/7 care, so that folks throughout White House, Germantown, Green Hills, and more can call on us whenever they need to.

Where Is the Best Location for My Water Heater?

One question we tend to get… 

Can I store my water heater outside or in my garage?

The pros here at Petitt Heating & Cooling will always say no – especially here in the Sumner County area where we experience below freezing temps in the winter months. Water heaters – especially tank water heaters – aren’t designed to withstand frigid temperatures and, as a result, may fail or break down.

Even if your water heater is specifically designed to withstand a large fluctuation in temperatures, it’s important to remember that this may require further maintenance and upkeep on your part. And then there’d still be the risk that inefficiency or malfunctions would occur.

In the end, despite the fact that these units tend to be an eyesore, we recommend keeping them inside.

Where, inside my home, is the best place to keep my water heater?

This can depend on a few different things… 

  • Accessibility: Consider locations that are most easily accessible for maintenance and repair work. You’ll want to ensure your techs can get where they need to when repairs or new parts are needed.
  • Ventilation: You’ll want enough space around your water heater for proper ventilation and to minimize the risk of potential hazards.
  • Water/Gas Supply: The closer your tank is to needed water pipes and, if applicable, gas lines, the better. This will make the installation process a whole lot smoother.
  • Building Codes: Make sure the system’s placement complies with local building codes and/or regulations. Your tech should have the ins and outs on all of this – another reason why trusting a pro is always the way to go.
  • Aesthetics: Let’s face it – water heaters aren’t the most decorative of appliances. Most opt to put them in a basement or storage room to keep them out of sight. As long as these areas are appropriately climate-controlled, this shouldn’t be a problem.

What Are the Signs My Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced?

Wondering if you’re due for an entirely new water heater? This isn’t always the most exciting purchase, but it’s a necessary one. And, once professionally installed, you shouldn’t have to think about it again for quite some time.

Here are some common indicators that your water heater is on its last leg:

  • The system is old. Tank water heaters last an average of around 10 years, so if yours is older than that, then it’s likely about time to replace it. Tankless options typically last about twice as long.
  • It’s leaking a lot. Leaks can happen (and be repaired) from time to time, but if your water heater seems to be leaking incessantly, then the unit is probably nearing the end of its lifespan.
  • Your water is rusty. If brown water is consistently coming out of your pipes when the hot water is running, then your water heater is the likely culprit. You probably have too much buildup of sediment inside, which often indicates the unit is getting older.
  • You get no or little hot water. If your hot water tends to run out quickly, or if you don’t get any hot water at all, something is amiss. If your tank is old, repairs might be in order, but more than likely your system will just need to be replaced altogether.
  • You’re hearing strange noises. Hear clunking or popping coming from the tank? This means there’s a lot of sediment building up. Consider flushing the tank or upgrading to something newer.
  • Your energy bills are increasing. If your water heating costs are up with no reasonable explanation, your water heater itself could be to blame. The older these systems get, the less efficiently they tend to work.

Why Is Trusting a Professional for Water Heater Maintenance Important?

If you want your HVAC system to stand the test of time, function as safely as possible, and deliver efficient results, trusting a professional for your installation, repair, and maintenance services is a must. Regular care and tune-ups from a professional can save you time, money, and peace of mind in the long run.

When it comes to appliances like this, even a minor mistake in an installation or repair job can lead to major issues. Because of this, trusting a company that’s licensed, insured, and invests in continued training and education is always the way to go.

In addition to all this, water heaters contain electrical and/or gas components that can be dangerous if not handled properly. Pros know how to approach all parts in ways that keep everyone involved safer, and they can detect any potential issues that may be causing threats to come your way too. They’ll also have a firm understanding of the regulations and codes that apply to water heaters in your area, and they’ll follow industry standards to ensure that any work completed is done correctly.

Finally, trusting a pro protects your warranty. Many warranties will only remain intact if a licensed tech is regularly called in for maintenance and repairs. And, should you attempt any DIY fixes, the entire thing will be voided.

Is Petitt Heating & Cooling Qualified to Handle My Water Heater Needs?

You bet. We serve East Nashville, Springfield, Belle Meade, and more with pride and professionalism, and we’d be happy to get you where you need to be – whether that means repairing an old system, installing a new one, or just doing some routine maintenance.

  • We hold a Mechanical License for TN.
  • We’re EPA Certified.
  • We hold our Compressed Gas Certification.
  • We have 100+ training hours at Tennessee Technology Center.
  • We have 50+ years of combined industry experience.
  • We are licensed, bonded & insured.
  • We’re family-owned and offer personalized care.
  • We’re respectful, leaving your home better than when we left it.

Call Today or Book Online – We’re Here for You

There are a couple ways you can schedule with us. You can call 615-654-0814 and speak with one of our team members or you can book with us online. Either way is good with us – just pick the option that’s more convenient for you.

Please reach out with any questions you might be experiencing, as well, and don’t forget that we offer 24/7 care, so don’t hesitate to call with your HVAC-related emergencies. We’ll even come out on holidays!

Is it financing help you’re needing? We’ve got great financing options with many plans requiring payments as low as $100/month. And if you’re looking for 0% interest options, we’ve got those to explore too.

Eager to take the stress out of booking your HVAC tune-ups? Then, it’s time to sign up for a maintenance plan. We provide two tune-ups per year, with text reminders to get your appointments booked, and should you need repairs or new parts, we offer discounts on it all.

So, don’t put it off any longer. You deserve care from the best of the best, and that’s us. We look forward to helping you out soon!